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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Visual Presentation

Philosophical Foundations link to our visual presentation

Partner- Natasha Tsang

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Theme 1, Module 1

Assignment expectations explain, in writing or through other modes of communication, why some conceptions of curriculum continue to be used over time or are considered to be mainstream approaches, while others are not. In addition, explain your interpretation of conceptions of curriculum and how you can use them as tools or frameworks to analyze planning, instruction, and assessment within your specific context of practice.

After completing the required readings I now have a better understanding of various conceptions of curriculum.  I was introduced to concepts I had never heard of before and was reminded of some ideals that Im fully on board with.   

I believe that some conceptions continue to be used over time or are considered mainstream approaches because there is little effort for curriculum change. Whether this is steming from a political or funding stand point I cant say, but I think  that some things in the public school system needs to change.   As a Montessori school teacher I valued that the students could learn about their interests and were not told that they needed to wait until that subject was taught in Grade 4 Science or Grade 3 Social studies.  By dismissing this interest as an educator you are missing a window of opportunity, a teachable moment where the students are motivated and curious and this should be celebrated, acknowledged and explored.  Sadly in a large class size with a strict curriculum to uncover at each grade level this is not an attainable method. 

One conception of curriculum I was introduced to by J McNeil in the article
Contemporary Curriculum: In Thought and Action was the Humainist approach.   A humanistic curriculum is seen by students as important in helping them be what they want to be; it is a curriculum where learning is high in personal relevance, feeling, and probable success. I think that this approach to curriculum would be hugely  beneficial for the children of today.  I can recall in my undergrad I would excel in any of the courses that were about my focus (Child Studies) but lost all interest and motivation (and my grades suffered in these courses) when I was forced to take Statistics, and some Science credits.  I just wanted to learn about Child Development, Children's Literature, Child Rights and anything pertaining to my future career field. Imagine if the Ontario full day kindergarten programs expectations continued into the Grade 1 and so on.  Fully embracing a student lead and inquiry based program has many benefits for the students and allows them to become active learners. 

One example of a school that takes a similar approach to learning and teaching is Summerhill. “The humanistic curriculum supports the American ideal of individualism, helping students discover who they are, not just shaping them into a form that has been designated in advance”.  Many theorists will agree that much of what is taught is not learned and much of what is presented and tested is not assimilated. Critics who think that greater learning is achieved by pouring more facts into children's minds are mistaken.  If you havent heard of Summerhill here is the link for more information it was founded in 1921, it continues to be an influential model for progressive, democratic education around the world. Summerhill is the oldest children's democracy in the world. It is probably the most famous alternative or 'free' school.  To humanists, the goals of ed

ucation are related to the ideals of personal growth
integrity, and autonomy. Healthier attitudes toward self, peers, and learning are among their expectations.

My own interpretations based on the readings in terms of using curriculum conceptions  as tools or frameworks to analyze planning, instruction, and assessment within my teaching is to do self reflection.  What curriculum factors have I seen work, what do I feel is important to integrated in my planning, instruction and assessment?  For me its looking at how I can integrate the importantce of moral education, life skills and using the students self lead learning to create lessons, facilitate discussions and provide various assessments that place value on the progress and not product, learning styles and character traits. 

"Taking a closer look at schools means reflecting on the difference between seeing schools as an agent for moral uplift and seeing the school as a purely functional means of providing the survival skills necessary for the maintenance of civilization.” – Eiser & Vallance (1974).  This begs me to ask the question what are the necessary skills for maintenance in civilization. Algebra and Computer Literacy arent the first thing that come to mind but more so; self regulation, work ethic, and social skills. With so much emphasis in schools about anti bullying I have always taken a keen focus on positive relationships in a classroom.  To create a positive culture of care in a classroom and school it takes consistency and effort but when its role modelled, celebrated and appreciated friendships and respect for each other can flourish.  I personally would much rather have my daughters report card come home that reads “she plays well with others, she is kind and respectful” than “she is meeting all the math expectations and can write all the letters of the alphabet”.  So how can we as educators ensure that all the curriculum expectations are being met across all subjects and ensure that students are given necessary life skills that aren’t on the standardized tests?  When each student feels heard, valued and that they belong they demonstrate success in both academics and their actions.


As highlighted in the article by Gavin Brown (2006) most teachers are not just delivery mechanisms or conduits for curriculum; but rather they are creators or makers of curriculum (Clandinin & Connelly, 1992).  Teachers are responsible on finding the content and create a method of presenting the material that is meaningful to the students.  This gives me alot of flexibility in my planning, implementation and assessment of the curriculum.   For example, if I was preparing to teach the subject of fractions to a Grade 4 class I could integrate a humanistic approach by hosting a number talk at the beginning of the lesson.  My lesson would enable the students to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways such as a picnic art, chalk hopscotch, creating family fraction stories and movement with fraction dancing.  My assessment would be using my observation skills was the students are in small and large group activities, through peer and self assessments and from actively listening to their understanding during the number talks.  This integrates the conception of self actualization in asking what they know and what they still want to learn going forward. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Concept Map

Based on the readings, videos and my prior knowledge of collaboration Ive created a concept map that Id like to share here.  I used Mindomo to create this and found it had some limitations without upgrading to the premium, however it was easy enough to navigate.  I look forward to adding to this and seeing how it develops as I go through the rest of this course.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Online Portfolio

Ill be using this blog space as my online portfolio for my Masters in Education course. I will document this journey and post items along the way that incorporate my personal questions, discoveries and challenges.  My first entry is an example of Collaboration I had the pleasure of being part of.

Monday, November 14, 2016


Since I mostly used my daily agenda to set my time lines and keep myself ontrack for finishing my assignment on time and for self reflection here are some pictures.  Please disregard the mess on some pages between working for three school boards, being a single mom and roller derby my life is mostly chaotic. :)

Picture One- I first researched the connection between self regulation and yoga.  I found some scholarly journals and articles regarding the benefits and links and printed these out so I could highlight keep ideas and use in my resource.  I then had to dig out my own personal childrens yoga resources that I hadn't used in a while so I could draw some ideas regarding games. 
 Picture Two-  Orginally I had my heart set on creating a powtoon but then had to re assess this goal because I thought about adding in another learning curve into the mix on top of everything else I was trying to accomplish and decided against it.  I stuck with something easy that I was familiar with and created a powerpoint instead. 
 Picture Three- I was well on my way of having my childrens yoga resource created so my next goal was to find appropriate pictures for the headline slides and poses.  I couldn't find a website that had all the poses I wanted to share so had to find a variety of websites and reference them.  APA format is what I used but am still not 100% sure I did this correctly.  I felt at this point I needed some feedback and enjoyed meeting with me peer to discuss our self regulated learning so far.
 Picture Four- At this point I had completed the slides for linking self regulation to yoga, the poses, the games and pictures.  My next step was to add in the meditation slides and instead of writing up a bunch of relaxation and guided meditation samples I used youtube video links.  I did a self check in to see how much I had failed to track my progress using my blog and was disappointed. Although I was motivated to complete the final product I didn't put in the time or effort to show the process.  As a self regulated learner this was something I needed to improve on.  I also should have reached out to other childrens yoga professionals for input on the resource. 
 Picture Five-  The final check that it was complete.  Hard to believe the course is coming to a close.  I will use the resource to teach a workshop for ETFO members in the new year.  I hope other professionals will find it useful and utlize the ideas, suggestions, and games into their daily classroom instruction.  I feel passionately that yoga for children has so many benefits and if you are modelling the behaviours such as breathing techniques for yourself the students will start to use them without prompts. 

Yoga Resouce completed

I was terrible at monitoring my goals using this blog.  I mostly used my day planner to keep track of goal setting and task management. As a self regulated learner tracking the progress wasn't my strong suit I often checked in with myself and reevaluated what needed to be completed but dound writing here as one extra time consuming step which I neglected. 
What were the reasons for how your inquiry turned out? The reasons I believe my inquiry turned out was that I am a certified childrens yoga instructor and already had that background knowledge so just had to research and tie it to what I was learning about self regulated learning.  I set my goal as something that was attainable and made  plan. I checked in often to ensure I was using my time effectively and self monitored my work. 
I was motivated to create this document because Id like to share it with other ETFO members in a workshop. This task was meaningful for me because I implement yoga in some way shape or form in my classroom daily.
Upon final reflection, what might you do differently if you were to do it again? What I would do differently is to reach out to other childrens yoga professionals to see what their experiences have been so I could add that insight and resources into the powerpoint.  I would also keep to my scheduled goals more strickly so I didn't feel so overwhelmed nearly the end of the course to complete.
What effect has working toward this goal had on your own feelings of self-efficacy as  an SRL learner? Working towards this goal has made me realize that self regulated learning is something that needs to be practised over and over again.  Its something that needs to occur everyday in some capacity in a classroom if you want the students to be successful.  It has so many wonderful benefits for all your life areas and should be encouraged, modelled and given feedback throughout your time and beyond with those students in your class.